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Do Americans Really Love The Idea Of Medicare For All?

Medicare has surely provided guaranteed healthcare to American seniors for more than half a century. Many Americans think that a single-payer healthcare system would end all disparities when it comes to availing effective healthcare. Presumably, Medicare For All would also grant everyone equal access to healthcare and would control the cost of healthcare. But do Americans really like the idea of Medicare For All? Let’s find out.

What Do The Numbers Suggest?

A vast majority of the United States population —almost 70% of Americans, to be precise — has given considerable support to Medicare For All (which is also known as the single-payer health care) as per a recent survey by Reuters. Under this, Democrats roughly constitute about 85%, while there are about 52% of the Republicans. Only 20% of Americans have opposed this idea. Now, the different party leaders showed marked changes, too, when it came to supporting and showing the world the essentiality of adopting the program which possibly explains and reflects the percentage difference.

People Changed Their Opinions

Gradually, the initial support came down to 56% at one point in time and then further decreased to 42%. This raised considerable concern as to why such dramatic shifts continued. It was found that when people were questioned about the possible outcomes — the advantages and disadvantages and the like — the shift became prominent. Again, the fluctuation in numbers occurred when it was declared that Medicare For All would guarantee health insurance as a basic right (71%) and also minimize the rate of premiums and cut down on out-of-pocket prices (67%). At that time, the support provided to the program increased manifold. But the very moment when they were informed about the government-run system and how that can cause unnecessary delays in obtaining care or lead to high taxes, the support came down to about 26% and 37% respectively. In fact, the support recorded a massive fall at 32% once it was declared how it’s likely to threaten the present Medicare program.

The Tax Concern

Robert Blendon, a professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, expressed deep concern about the tax factor. He stated clearly how single-payer efforts in Colorado and Vermont recorded a dip in the results largely because of the anxieties revolving around tax increases required to put them in order. Also, there seems to be no disagreement concerning the single-payer system that would inevitably point towards tax expansions. This is chiefly because the government can take on the premiums which are currently paid by people and employers since it’s a replacement to the health insurance industry at private levels. The only question that comes at this point is how much.

The Government Has A Big Role To Play

A number of studies have been conducted independently that showed how the dramatic increases are highly likely to occur with regards to the amount spent on health care – the range mostly between $25 trillion to $35 trillion, and even more, over a period of a decade. But if the estimate from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst is much more thoroughly assessed, the cost can be quite low. With everybody vying towards maximum tax savings (and that’s justified), the government will possibly have to expand the number to about $1.1 trillion from recent revenue sources and that, too, in the very first year when the new program begins.

Most People Don’t Know Much About Medicare For All

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit that aims to find out and relay trusted information on health issues that the USA faces, recently conducted a study to assess the public’s sentiment regarding this matter. The Director of the Kaiser poll, Mollyann Brodie, had rightly pointed to how the continuing swings of approval and disapproval show the dispute over Medicare For All since its inception. In fact, the poll also went ahead to show how most people are still in the dark about the implications and the fundamentals of a national health plan like this.

Ahead of the 2020 Presidential election, the Medicare For All is a vital issue that can pave the road for a smooth run for the Democratic base since Republicans are quite opposed to the idea. Public debates regarding this issue can be a divisive one for the nation, and that cannot be overlooked. Only a grassroots-level campaign can push the idea further.

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